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Idaho charter school loses federal appeal over Bible teaching

A now-defunct Idaho charter that sued the state because it wanted to use the Bible and other religious texts in the classroom has lost an appeal to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appellate court rejected the argument from Nampa Classical Academy founders that the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment gives them the right to use religious texts in their state-funded classrooms.

The Idaho Constitution out-and-out bans state funding for religious instruction in Article 9, Section 5, and in Article 9, Section 6, states, “No sectarian or religious tenets or doctrines shall ever be taught in the public schools,” and adds, “No books, papers, tracts or documents of a political, sectarian or denominational character shall be used or introduced in any schools established under the provisions of this article.” That's why the Idaho Charter School Commission's deputy attorney general concluded in 2009 that the state constitution “expressly” limits use of religious texts. Click below for a full report from Associated Press reporter Jessie Bonner.